Customer Reviews: The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on pH Levels
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on January 9, 2007
This book gives a concise description of what pH balance is, how it affects your health, and the possible consequences of not keeping ones system "in balance". pH means "potential for hydrogen", a term used in chemistry, which indicates whether a solution, fluid or compound is acidic, alkaline, or neutral. pH can be measured in our bodies by testing saliva and urine or blood (pH strips are available for the first 2 tests), and if we have a heavy concentration of hydrogen in our systems, we are "acid based". The scale goes from 0 to 14; to be healthy, we should have slightly alkaline, oxygen-rich arterial blood (7.365 to 7.45 is ideal) - a reading of 7.0 is neutral.

Oxygen rich systems (alkaline based) neutralize formation of acids which might prove to be harmful. To help us stay in the neutral zone, our bodies use calcium and protein from bones, and possibly other places, to pump more alkaline to our systems in order to neutralize formation of acids, so as to keep us in balance. After the passage of time, if we fail to keep our systems in balance, and we become acid based, our bone formation will be reduced, calcium will be lost in our urine (leading to kidney stone formation), proteins will breakdown causing our muscles to waste away, our systems will be unable to repair cells, tissues and organs fully, our systems will age at an accelerated pace, more free radicals will be produced, we will be subject to increased fluid retention, and so forth.

The American diet is centered around foods that create acid-base systems. Dr. Brown lists about 70 pages of foods we eat, and rates them according to whether the food is alkaline-forming or acid-forming. The first time I read through the list, I determined that I could not eat any food without running the risk of forming more acids in my system. To remedy this, Dr. Brown suggest that we eat more dark green vegetables than any other food group. She doesn't require me to give up meat or eggs or nuts, so long as 2/3rd of my plate contains foods that are alkaline-forming (such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, asparagus, snap green beans, etc.).

Dr. Brown explains the basis for her conclusions. Our bodies have 3 methods of getting rid of unwanted "poisons", or acid forming chemicals, all of which are filtered through our bodies:

First, our lungs supply our bodies with much needed oxygen (as we breathe in), and dispel (exhale) carbon dioxide (the "burned" waste from our system - an inference might be made that aerobic exercise helps cleanse our system, because it requires lots of heavy breathing, which gives us a double dose of oxygen; in turn the CO2 expels the oxidized stuff we don't need);

Second, our kidneys filter unwanted sugars, and other waste products which we don't need (we rid our systems through urine - a preventative measure we can take is to drink lots of pure, and hopefully ionized or ozone rich water, which will keep our kidneys healthy, as well as supply needed oxygen to our systems); and

Third, our skin filters out other things, through our perspiration (which is also produced through exercise).

With the information in this book, we will understand the importance of pH balance, have a list of foods and corresponding indicators as to whether the foods produce acid or alkaline with our systems, and gain a better appreciate of the components of good health.
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on February 11, 2008
I purchased this book for myself then bought two more copies for friends. I read the book cover to cover and used a highlighter pen. The book can get a little redundant so I highlighted my friends' copies and told them that would give them all the info they need. I love the food guide in the back. I have changed the way I eat and I have noticed a big difference. One thing I would recommend is purchasing narrow range pH strips in .2 increments at the same time as you order this book. This is because they walk you through tests that require these and, if you are like me, you will be anxious to get started as you are reading the book. they also sell them at Whole Foods Market.
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on August 30, 2007
This little book is nearly perfect. Starts with 75 pages of theory & then 100 pages of tables of foods. It is short enough to be immediately useful, scientific enough to please fussy me, and complete enough to make me wish I hadn't read "The pH Miracle" (the pH Miracle fails on being scientific).

Not too hot, not too cold; just right!
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on October 14, 2007
I recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand about the acidifying/alkalizing effects of the foods we eat. It explains in plain language how our diets influence our health and cause our illnesses. Most helpfully of all, it includes a comprehensive table showing the acidifying/alkalizing effects of many foods. I have never seen another table this complete. This table helps me choose the most healthful foods to eat. Anyone with a chronic illness should definitely read this book and follow its guidelines. Thank you, Susan Brown, for providing us with such helpful information.
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on August 26, 2009
I had a friend who recently had amazing success on the "The pH Miracle" diet plan, and I have a history of moderately high cholesterol, so I talked with my doctor and decided to try the plan myself. This book appeared to be a useful reference to support that plan.

Because I have a strong background in chemical engineering research, I was highly skeptical of the "claims" made by "The pH Miracle", and quite honestly, I found no substantial research to back them up; however, I did find a wide body of evidence supporting the benefits of vegetarian diets, so I am continuing my trial. Actual pH control of (1) the GI system, by secretions in the stomach and intestines, of (2) the blood, by the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the lungs under the contorol of respiration, and of (3) the urine to prevent the accumulation of acids and bases in the blood from threatening pH control by respiration, is much more complex then any of these authors addresses, and the research they cite is quite limited.

One area of concern I identified is that many sources publish so-called acidifying/alkalizing food lists, and they conflict in many important areas. At least this book was based on a correlation (not actual experiments for each food) developed from actual research performed by the author. The book is also fairly complete, though it repeats listings under different categories to make itself appear like more information than it really is.

Many of the other lists I have found track themselves back to research done by a german nutritionist in the first half of the twentieth century. I have not been able to find a paper to determine his experimental methods, but apparently, he was interested in human health and was given credit for training some athletes.

In general, I recommend you continue your vegetarian pursuits, and take all this pH stuff with a grain of salt, or perhaps some potassium bicarbonate.

Warmest regards,
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on August 25, 2007
I have been using this book everyday to make food choses that are healthy. I now know that I need more foods that create an alkaline effect in my body, since our blood needs to be 7.3 to 7.4 ph range for us to live. I can now create healthy meals by following this guide. It is extremely helpful.
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on October 26, 2011
I was new to the idea of acid/alkaline balancing when I bought this book and I totally accepted Susan's word as the gospel. Having educated myself further I've found her information to be highly inaccurate and incomplete. It also fails miserably at suggesting good options for restoring and maintaining the body's acid/alkaline balance - possibly because the author didn't have a clear understanding on the subject in the first place. Read 'The Acid-alkaline diet for optimum health' by Christopher Vasey is a much better (and accurate!) option to learn how to restore and maintain a balance in you diet.
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on December 30, 2007
I've read several books and articles in an attempt to better understand acid/alkaline balance in the body - to me, this is the best one. I'm still confused by some ideas (like, why are tomatoes listed as acid-forming on some lists and alkaline-forming on other lists?), but overall, this little book helped the most.
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on October 2, 2007
The book has just enough scientific information to prove the point without more than a person can plow through. Fast reading, very informative. The chart in the back of the book is really invaluable.
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on July 8, 2007
This book is a very good reference guide for what foods are acidic or alkaline. It is an easy to read list, so that you can refer to it as often as needed.
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